Family Travel Association Newsletter

The 2016 FTA Summit Begins… on Sunday!

Week of October 17, 2016

This is the newsletter of the Family Travel Association, a new coalition of leading family travel experts, media and companies coming together to create an industry voice that will transform the way families travel — charting a path for future generations of travelers.

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Family Travel Association News

Presenting: The FTA Summit!

Starting on the afternoon of October 22, delegates will begin gathering at the Westin La Paloma of Tucson, Arizona, for the second FTA Summit. More than 150 family travel experts, industry leaders and media are expected at the three-day gathering.

FTA Summit

The Program, Including Great Keynotes

The Summit program consists of inspiring presentations, interactive workshops, enlightening research and networking opportunities. Anchoring the plenary sessions are keynotes by Maureen Miller of Disney, Estee Rivera Murdock of the National Park Service, Ashish Sanghrajka of Big Five Tours & Expeditions, Caroline Shin of Vacatia and Bill Street of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, while numerous breakouts will allow for small-group interactive discussions on a wide selection of topics.

For a brief third-party perspective, our Board member Matt Villano has introduced the program to his readers in a blog post on Expedia.

Follow Along in Real Time via Social Media

Keep an eye on our Facebook (/familytravelassociation) and Twitter (@FamilyTravAssoc) accounts. We’ll be sharing news in real time, including short Q&A sessions via Facebook Live throughout the three days of the conference. Be sure to follow the #FTAsummit and #familytravel hashtags for more information.

Is Family Travel a Waste of Money?

A month ago, in mid-September, The Telegraph, a newspaper in the UK, published an article entitled “Don't travel with kids until they're teens – it's a waste of money, believe me.” The crux of the piece is that “lavishing… luxurious travel experiences on children is supremely indulgent.” Needless to say, we at the FTA disagree. And so do our members. 33 experts spoke out in the strongest terms.

Why Family Travel Is Not a Waste of Money

More Families Are Choosing Water Activities

In our latest column in Family Getaways, Ethan Gelber, our editorial director, shared a thought about how family scuba trips are an increasingly important blip on the family travel radar. Spotlighting FTA member Kids Sea Camp, Ethan makes the case for why “everyone should give scuba a good long look, ideally through the lens of a mask and snorkel.”


Have You Seen Our Our Consumer Newsletter?

We’re continuing to focus on family-travel topics and issues of interest to consumers. In our consumer-facing newsletters, we've delved deeply into one topic at a time – like Family Safari in AfricaFamily Travel and Vacation RentalsEcotourism and Family Travel in Costa Rica and even special news about how the U.S. Congress Passed a New Law to Keep Families Flying Together.

Please encourage any interested family travelers to sign up for our Travelers Newsletter.

Ecotourism and Family Travel in Costa Rica

FTA Spotlight Shifts Its Focus to the Future of Family Travel

At the current stage of our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family campaign (download overview) we are searching for great resources about The Future of Family Travel.

FTA Spotlight

Rainer Jenss wrote this almost exactly a year ago. It’s interesting to look back at where we were a year ago, how much progress we’ve made since then and what lies ahead.

Do you have strong feelings about this? We want to hear from you!

Family Travel Association Membership

The Family Travel Association membership base continues to expand, drawing in new associations, media outlets, destinations, tour operators, corporate entities, cruise lines, lodgings and travel specialists.

Who Are Our Newest Members?

Alaskan Dream Cruises
Alaskan Dream Cruises
"At Alaskan Dream Cruises, we've experienced the many benefits of family travel. Cruising as a family provides an opportunity to strengthen bonds through shared discoveries and learning. As families venture off the beaten path, they are able to disconnect from a fast-paced world and connect with the remarkable wildlife, cultures, and natural wonders of Alaska. And, most importantly, with each other."
– Zak Kirkpatrick, Marketing Manager
Arizona Office of Tourism
Arizona Office of Tourism
"We're charged by the state to enhance the economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing tourism through promotion and development. As a great family destination, we're excited to work with the FTA to further our mission and inspire more media, agents, and consumers to discover family-friendly Arizona."
– Debbie Johnson, Director
Associated Foreign Exchange, Inc.
Associated Foreign Exchange, Inc.
"AFEX is proud to have joined FTA as a trusted business partner for all of its members that are exposed to the foreign currency market. We are able to assist FTA members in all areas of the payment process, from creating risk management solutions to delivering funds more efficiently and cost effectively all around the world."
– Andrew Saa, FX Consultant
Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches
"Discover The Palm Beaches is thrilled to become a member of the FTA, as another means to reach families in search of their next great vacation. As America’s First Resort Destination®, we are home to 39 cities and towns spanning more than 2,200 square miles and 47 miles of pristine beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. We look forward to cultivating relationships and discovering opportunities with FTA’s network of influencers."
– Rich Basen, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Leisure Sales
Southwind Adventures
Southwind Adventures
“Recently we have seen the largest growth in our family travel segment in our 26-year history. We recognize the importance of understanding and catering to this segment of travelers, and believe the FTA is a great organization to help us best serve our clientele.”
– Dana Johnson, Director of Marketing and Sales
Three Bars Guest Ranch
Three Bars Ranch
“We here at Three Bars Ranch, like Rainer and the FTA believe that family travel is one of the best things we can do for our children. We strive to provide a world class family vacation experience, where families can learn and create memories together as a family. We look forward to working with and promoting the value in family travel.”
– Tyler Beckley, Owner & CEO
Trekking Team Group
Trekking Team Group
“Family travel is one of the growing trend in a travel business as people do not have much time to give for the family at home. This is the best time to spend together out of the busy schedule. I love this and would like to promote this as much as possible. I want to meet like minded people, share experience and help our family of Family Travel Association to grow.”
– Shreehari Thapaliya, Director
Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando
“There is no destination more iconic for family travel than Orlando. As the number one family destination in the world, we welcome the attention and new opportunities to promote this important tourism segment that the Family Travel Association provides.”
– George Aguel, President and CEO
Wyndham Vacation Rentals
Wyndham Vacation Rentals
“Bringing family together is at the heart of what we do. Our membership with the Family Travel Associates aligns with our belief that travel is one of the best ways for children to learn about the world around them. We are proud to provide opportunities for families to learn and connect together.”
– Mary Lynn Clark, President

Family Travel Association Member News

Small People, Big Change

Ashish Sanghrajka at PURE Matter 2016 conference
At the PURE Matter 2016 conference, Ashish Sanghrajka, President of Big Five Tours & Expeditions, delivered an excellent four-minute speech about the key difference between “family friendly” and “family tolerant.” Watch the short video.

SeaWorld Entertainment Unveils Major New Attractions For 2017

SeaWorld Entertainment Unveils Major New Attractions For 2017
SeaWorld has announced its extensive lineup of new attractions, shows and events for 2017, including a new virtual reality experience in Orlando and new orca presentation in San Diego. These experiences reinforce SeaWorld’s mission to provide guests with both fun and meaningful experiences.

A Family Safari to Africa: Your Kids Will Thank You

A Family Safari to Africa
Going on a family safari is a great investment, says Journey to Africa. High yield in the family memory bank! They also advise that everyone will be OK with the ‘safari bug' that's going around. Everyone gets it. And at this time, not only is there no cure, but no one is looking for one.

Galapagos: Close Encounters of the Wild Kind

Galapagos: Close Encounters of the Wild Kind
Heather Mundt's back from a land-based family trip to the Galapagos with Thomson Family Adventures. The takeaways? Close encounters with wild animals, from whitetip reef sharks to boobies! A conservation-minded vacation for the whole family, and especially critical for young travelers.

Traveling to Ecuador with our Kids

Traveling to Ecuador with Kids
This couple has always enjoyed travel and wanted to leave an indelible travel impression on their kids. So they went to Ecuador for three weeks and learned how traveling with kids is different. It could so easily go horribly wrong or it could be a great success. Thankfully, they had the guidance of Global Family Travels, and loved every minute!

In the Zika Zone, Deals Amid Uncertainty

In the Zika Zone, Deals Amid Uncertainty
As Zika awareness grows, so too does a mature understanding of the risks… and the travel opportunities. In a recent New York Times article, Hans Pfister of the Cayuga Collection of resorts noted that while honeymooners have trailed off, “the family market picked up.”

Christmas with Kids in… a Great European City

Christmas with Kids in… a Great European City
Family Twist says nothing could be better than a Christmas dream come true: a visit to Europe with a range of unique, family-friendly activities in Paris, London and Rome entirely dedicated to celebrating Christmas as a family, including exclusive experiences at masterpiece hotels.

Family Travel Industry News

Here's Why Travel Is Actually Mentally and Physically Healthy for Kids

Here's Why Travel Is Actually Mentally and Physically Healthy for Kids
Research points to well-traveled children being healthier physically, but did you know that top docs tend to agree that traveling with children of all ages can actually be extremely positive for cognitive and emotional development as well? Time to book a family vacation! 

Taking Children on a Sailboat: How to Stay Safe

Taking Children on a Sailboat: How to Stay Safe
Taking children on a sailboat can be a rewarding and educational experience for everyone. But sailing with small kids can be a real adventure too! A few important safety tips, especially basic boating rules and knowing what/how to pack, can help ensure that everyone is happy and healthy on board.

Where We Used to Go: Childhood Haunts Worth Revisiting

Where We Used to Go: Childhood Haunts Worth Revisiting
Grainy family pictures of our younger selves act like wormholes in time. Lonely Planet asked its staff to slip through the wormhole, recall some places and experiences they visited in their childhood, and explain why they’d like to retrace their steps as an adult (perhaps with kids in tow).
Family Getaways

Other Industry Stories Through TravelAge West

As part of a collaboration with TravelAge West, we are sharing selected items of interest from their family travel news desk.

Luxury Travel for Families Shouldn't Be Surprising
When working with families, agents should not automatically rule out luxury travel suppliers.

An Inside Look at Intrepid Travel's Family's Tour of Sri Lanka
Intrepid’s private groups department creates vacations to suit every family’s needs.

4 Under-the-Radar Family-Friendly National Parks to Visit Now
They may not rank highly in terms of visitor volume, but these low-profile national parks don’t fall short when it comes to offering family fun.
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